Originally Posted by Cebu Citizen
My Filipina Wife and I were very near Zamboanga City on January 12th, 2015 for a family funeral and I was only there for a very short one day. After we had left, some of my wife's family reported back that I had already been identified as a foreigner target and they were watching for me to return to the family home. Fortunately, I did not return there the following day and was already back in Manila but the fact that several very reliable family members told us the same information by Facebook and text messages and mobile phone calls, gave me an eerie feeling of just how close I may have come to being a statistic.
It did not take the local militants very long to notice that a foreigner was in the area and they were already watching for an opportunity if I had returned to the family home the following day. I count my blessings and I will not be returning there any time soon...
I am guessing that you were on the outskirts where you would be very very noticeable for sure. It gets riskier as you go west (towards Recodo/Ayala) or East/North towards Ipil outside of the city limits. I have a house in a secure compound within the city that I can access without being seen (tinted window vehicle driven into the compound and not get out of the vehicle until once inside).
The methodology is they grab you and run for the shore. Get you on a boat and take you to one of the outlying islands (Tictabon or Sacol Island for example) ultimately ending up in Basilan or Jolo or somewheres in between. Another thing to note is that it is usually not the terrorists abducting you but rather a corrupt policeman, military or criminal that will "sell" you to the ASG or whoever.
I am glad you made out safe without incident.